Authors Notes: I would like to thank my beta readers Sally, Kris and Emma. Also to Lorrie, Keri, Michelle, Emma and Shelly thank you for answering my calls for help. To the whole SMK5 group, you are all great and I am glad I was a part of this. ***I have an extra big hug thank you to Emma. I was so upset when I lost part of my story on 10/24, she talked to me and emailed back a section I sent to her.
To the readers: The movie in this story did come out in 1987, don't know what month. The Hotel was in service in '87 as was the IL PORTO Ristorante, which is located at corner of King and Lee Streets in Historic Old Town Alexandria, Va.
Seedy building in the warehouse district
On a dark and raining night we find two men talking on the phone, one talking in such anger, while the other gives him information on the day to day activities of his potential victims. He grew more aggravated as the conversation continued. "Brother, this is not going to work! I need another angle." The rain pounded on the roof of the warehouse building. Get me more information on that man, check into his partner's life too......NOW!"
"Yes, I will. I'll contact you tomorrow night, I should have something by then."
"You better, don't disappointment me, Samir." The man's voice rose with each word.
"Calm down, Samrat, I know what this man did to us too. Just stay out of sight, we don't want him to know we are here until we can put our plan into action."
It had been over ten years since Samir and Samrat had a wonderful little gun smuggling ring in Kandla, India. Or at least thought they had, until a cocky rookie agent messed up their plans. Now with their prison time behind them, the vowed to each other that the person responsible would pay.
In Billy's Office, both he and Lee were sitting down with their feet up, on the coffee table, relaxing and enjoying a drink together after a long week.
"Well, Billy, do you think everything will be a lot slower by the end of next week? Remember, I told you I wanted to take Amanda somewhere for her birthday. So please, no last minute I need this done requests." He said that last sentence with a little more emphasis and his eyebrows raised.
"Yes, I remember," Billy said shaking his head at Lee. "It shouldn't be any problem. Have you decided where to take her?"
"Well, it was a hard decision, but yes I did, and no, you are not going to know. I want no interruptions, we deserve a break and I want to spend time alone with her." Lee said with a big grin. He began to daydream about time alone with Amanda. Time alone was something they had not had in quite sometime.
Billy brought him back to their conversation by clearing his throat. "Are the boys going to be with Joe while you are gone?"
"Jamie leaves with him in the evening. Phillip has a Halloween party to go to, so he'll go with Joe after that." Lee paused, took a drink and shifted his body, he moved both feet to the floor and leaned forward. "You know what, I can't believe I'm sitting here, talking to you about all this. It feels so good." He sighed, slightly reserved "I just wish I was around the boys more"
"You know something, Lee,"...."I'm so glad that you finally wised up and married that woman. She's the best thing that could have happened to you." Billy looked up at his friend and noticed the concerned look on his face. "I know it's hard with Phillip and Jamie not knowing, but you need to remember, in time things will get better. They need you and so does Amanda, she is a very special person.
"You're right, she is the best thing that has ever happened to me," Lee said softly, knowing Billy's words were right.
As Billy finished the contents of his glass, he glanced over at the clock on his desk and realized was almost 9:30pm. "We should get going, Jeannie is probably wondering why I'm not home yet. And I bet you have a trip to Arlington on your mind," he said with a big smile on his face. Happy to see his friend finally settling down, despite the familie's lack of knowledge.
Lee and Billy walked out of the Agency that night and went their separate ways, hoping to have a nice, quiet weekend.
Saturday Morning 24th- Arlington
Amanda woke up on Saturday morning after a restless and lonely night. Lee had come over to visit her late Friday night. They sat outside on a blanket and held each other, gazing at the stars. They didn't pay attention to the time, until the neighbor's dog started barking. At that point Lee decided he had better head home. She hated that he had to leave and go back to the apartment, she so much waned to have her husband stay there with them, but that was not going to happen right now.
Amanda stretched her arms and legs, then climbed out of bed. She headed to her bathroom to take a shower and start her day. After she was done and dressed, she was grabbing the last of her things before leaving her room, when she thought she heard Phillip and Jamie arguing in their bedroom.
"Phillip, hey put that back."
"Alright you two, what's going on?" Amanda said as she opened the door to the room.
"Mom, Phillip won't leave my stuff alone."
"Boys, just please get along. I need you both to get ready so we can have breakfast before leaving. Phillip has a basketball practice in just over an hour from now."
"Alright, mom, I'm sorry."
"Me too," Jamie piped in.
Both boys, sensing that their mother was tired, decided now was probably not a good time to be fighting. Phillip handed Jamie back his books about photography and they got themselves ready
Amanda walked down the stairs and found Dotty already in the kitchen. She was happy to see her mother had breakfast ready for everyone. It was the little things like this that made her life so much easier. Amanda was overly tired after the long week of work and just didn't feel like doing anything.
"Good morning Amanda, did you sleep well?" Dotty asked in her normal chipper mood.
"Good morning, Mother, I slept okay," Amanda said, grabbing a coffee cup down while trying to stifle a yawn. She had lied to her mother, again; she was tired of that, too. She couldn't tell her the real reason why she had had little sleep the night before. Amanda just wasn't up to a game of 20 questions about Lee. She sat herself down at the table and began to eat.
Ten minutes later, Phillip and Jamie came running into the kitchen, ready to eat. And Thirty minutes later the King family was out the door to start their busy Saturday.
"What did you find out for me, Samir?" Samrat said while sitting down.
"Well, brother,......" Samrat, just said umm's and hmm's smuttered his comprehension of the information he was giving while in his mind plotted his revenge. The two men hung up their phones, when the conversation was over, and the angry one sat back and said to himself, "One more week. I think I can wait until then, no one will ever suspect me. I have the perfect plan. My brother did well. My, my, Scarecrow is in love". With a big grin and a puff of his cigar he said aloud, "One more week Scarecrow and your life will be hell!"
Monday morning 26th, Q-Bureau
Amanda was sitting at her desk going through notes that Lee had written on a file from a previous case. 'What would he do without me around to make sense of all this?' Amanda mused, shaking her head as she inserted another piece of paper into her typewriter.
As Lee started to open the door of the Q- bureau, he saw that Amanda was in already. He decided to be quiet, leaned up against the door and gazed at her. She was deep in thought and he knew why from the file sitting on her desk. It was one that he had worked on late Friday afternoon. As he watched her facial expressions change, from concentration to total frustration and then a completely puzzled look. He loved watching her in everything that she did. 'She is so amazing,' he thought. 'Billy was right, Amanda is exotic and mysterious. I was such a fool for not seeing that before. Even though we have been married for the last eight months after all this time she can still surprise me.'
Finally, Lee decided to get his wife's attention. "Some spy you are, letting someone just stand here and watch you work." Amanda looked up when Lee started to walk behind her. In a serious tone he added, "Mrs. Stetson, you need to stay on your toes. I could have been someone else sneaking up on you." He started nibbling on the back of her neck.
"Well, normally I pay attention, but I'm busy right now trying to understand this person's writing." She turned slightly, handing Lee the file that was in front of her. "Do you think you could translate this in English for me?"
"Hey there is nothing wrong with my writing." Amanda just gave him a look, not believing a word he was saying. Lee sighed, "Alright, Amanda, sometimes my hand writing is less than desirable....."
"And?" She interrupted.
"And yes, I will help you, even though I hate paperwork."
"Thank you, Lee," Amanda kissed on the lips, after which they broke apart slightly, "Now that is a better way to say good morning."
"Yes it is," he returned. Lee leaned in for another kiss, but decided against it when he could hear the clicking of shoes coming towards the Q-Bureau. He started for his desk just as the door opened and Francine walked in.
"Good morning, you two"
"Good morning, Francine," they returned.
"How was your vacation?" Amanda added.
"Oh it was wonderful, I didn't want to come back." Francine said as she deposited two files on Lee's desk. "Billy wanted you to sign off these and then file them into the vault."
The phone rang, surprising everyone, Lee talked to Billy who had called up there, he wanted Francine to hurry up and return down to his office. While Lee was talking, Francine leaned over Amanda's desk and said, "Remind me to tell you all about my vacation. I met this good looking guy just before I left and we had the wonderful time."
Francine walked out of the office, leaving Lee and Amanda to go about their work. They spent the day going through old case files then filing them in the vault, after which they had lunch at Emilo's.
Wednesday 28th- evening
As Jamie sat at the table doing his homework, Amanda was cooking dinner and Phillip on the phone with Linda.
"I can't wait until Saturday night too, it's going to be a blast...... Yeah, mom wanted to drop me off, but I convinced her to let me walk since you are only a couple of blocks away......Okay, see you tomorrow at school." Phillip said, ending his phone call.
"Phillip did you finish your homework already?"
"Yeah mom, I did it right when I got home."
Just then the doorbell rang and Amanda turned to ask Phillip to answer it, but he was already out in the backyard. "Jamie, will you please get the door for me. It should be Lee."
"Yes, mom," Jamie responded as he replaced the juice container back into the refrigerator.
Lee had walked up to front of the beautiful white house, noticing Amanda's touches to every little part of the front yard. He knew she liked to add decorations around the house during holidays. As he got closer, he stifled a laugh as he saw what Amanda had hanging on the door. A two-foot long scarecrow stared back at him.
He opened up the door and greeted Lee.
"Hi Jamie, looks like your mom found her Halloween decorations."
Jamie opened up the door wider allowing Lee to enter the house. "Yes, she did." Lee shut the front door and followed Jamie towards the kitchen. "Mom's cooking dinner," he added.
As both Lee and Jamie walked into the kitchen Amanda looked up, gave her husband a quick smile and returned back to her cooking. "Jamie, since Lee is here now will you go tell your brother it is time for dinner."
Lee walked up behind Amanda and greeted her with a kiss on the cheek, "Mmmm something smells good."
"Why thank you, you like my new perfume?"
"Oh, you have new perfume? I was commenting on dinner."
Amanda moved her elbow back a little, just enough to nudge him in the stomach, "You are terrible." She turned herself around in his loose embrace, gave him a brief kiss. She then quickly moved away from him and went about setting the table for dinner.
Jamie and Phillip came back into the house talking about Halloween costumes "Just leave me alone about it, Jamie," Phillip snipped back at his brother.
"Alright you two, what's going on?" Lee asked.
"Oh nothing, Jamie is just being a pest." Phillip hurried up before Jamie could say anything.
"No I am not! Lee, I just asked him if he is going to dress up in the Halloween costume I suggested."
"And what would that be?"
Phillip walked over to sit on the couch trying to avoid the conversation. "Well," Jamie started out, "I suggested since Linda is dressing up as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz he should go as the Scarecrow from that movie."
"I don't understand what the problem is, Jamie."
"I told mom, while Phillip was still on the phone talking to Linda, he should go as a scarecrow for Halloween. It fits him, no brains. He heard me say that to mom." Jamie said while staring at his feet.
Lee looked over at Amanda and shook his head.
"Oh, now it makes sense, Jamie....." Lee started, but was interrupted by Phillip's voice coming from the family room.
"Hey you dufus, I do too have a brain."
"Alright you two. Stop arguing, go upstairs and wash your hands for dinner." At first the boys didn't pay attention. They were just standing there looking at each other, but they did move after their mother added, a little more firmly, "Now boys." Amanda had been watching the whole conversation, but grew weary of the whole thing.
After Phillip and Jamie started up the stairs Lee looked over at Amanda and whispered, "no brains." Lee had been surprised at the comment Jamie made, even though the young boy didn't know about Lee's code name.
Amanda walked up to Lee, put her hands on his chest and gave him a soft kiss on his lips. As she walked away to retrieve a bottle of wine out of the refrigerator, she couldn't resist laughing at her husband.
Thursday Morning 29th, Amanda's house
As Lee's Corvette started down Maplewood Drive he looked out the window, thinking to himself how much he enjoyed driving to this house and picking Amanda up for work. The only problem he had was that he wanted to leave from the same house with his wife in the morning instead of just picking her up. He just kept reminding himself, 'Some day Stetson,' he thought to himself. Lee knew that in a few days he would get to spend time alone with Amanda. "Today is a special day for her," he said quietly. "And I am not going to dwell on things that are not realistic at this time."
As Lee pulled up to the front of the house, he already knew the boys had left for school and Dotty was suppose to be out with friends for the day. He got out of the car and stretched his long form, but just before he closed his door he reached in to retrieve a surprise for Amanda.
Walking up to the front door, he half expected Amanda to open it before he got there, but she hadn't. He knocked with his right hand while the left held a red rose. Lee was surprised to be greeted by Dotty.
"Ummm.....Good morning, Dotty." Lee said, slightly embarrassed before being a little relieved that he hadn't brought her a dozen roses.
"Good morning Lee, oh what a beautiful rose, why don't you come in, Amanda is almost ready to go, would you like a cup of coffee?" Dotty rambled off, all in one breath.
As Lee walked up the two steps that will lead into the den, he saw, out of the corner of his eye, Amanda descending down the stairs. He froze in his tracks to admire his wife. 'Oh, how she makes me feel when I see her, she looks beautiful today, but she looks beautiful everyday.' "Good morning, a little something for my wife." He whispered, while handing Amanda the red rose he had brought for her. Leaning in to give her a quick kiss on the lips he added "Happy Birthday Amanda, this is the start of a wonderful day."
A little taken back, Amanda remembered how Lee had felt about roses in the past. He had only given her roses once in all the time they had known each other.
She graciously took the rose from him, smiling, "Thank you, Lee."
She continued into the kitchen and pulled out a small vase. Dotty sat at the counter sipping tea. "Mother, I thought you were going out shopping and for lunch?"
"Yes, I am, dear, but Marge was running late. She'll be here in about an hour."
"Oh okay, well Lee and I are going to head out to work now. I'll see you later on tonight." She gave her mother a kiss on the cheek and went to grab her coat.
"Have a good day dear. Goodbye, Lee," Dotty replied as she went to put her cup into the sink.
"Goodbye, Dotty." Lee gave her a big smile, the type that could melt a persons heart.
Lee kept surprising Amanda all day. When they arrived at the their office, Amanda found another red rose sitting on her desk. They both had different things to do during the day, but had agreed to meet for lunch. When she met Lee for lunch, he had another rose laying on the table waiting for her.
Lee dropped her off at home about 3:30 that day, wanting to give her a chance to spend time with her mother and sons. A couple of weeks ago when Lee had the boys and Amanda was helping Francine at Jonathan's apartment, he had discussed with them the possibility of him taking their mother out for her birthday. They would all do something together on the Friday night. Phillip and Jamie were fine with that idea.
They exited his Corvette, she was puzzled at first as to why he needed to open up the trunk of his car, As he was walking up her walk, she realized his hands behind his back and a devilish grin on his face. As they reached the door he proceeded to hand her another rose. He kissed her softly on the lips, he said he would return in a couple of hours, as he referred to as 'taking my wife out on a date'.
Amanda entered her house, carrying the three roses she had received from Lee. She was in awe over these lovely gestures from her husband that day. He really had surprised her, she thought as she added the roses to the one in the vase that she received that morning.
"More roses Amanda?" Dotty caught her off guard as she jumped a little. "Oh sorry, Dear, I didn't mean to startle you."
"That's okay, mother. Yes, more roses from Lee." Amanda couldn't help but smile.
Dotty noticed the smile on her face and broke out into one herself. "I do like Lee, I think he's a keeper," She whispered conspiratorially.
"Mother!" Amanda was embarrassed at her mother's comment. She turned and walked up to her room to prepare for her night out with Lee.
Lee couldn't wait to get back to Amanda, so he returned just under two hours later. Repeating his actions from that morning he walked up to the front door with another rose in his hand. He wanted this day to be very special for her. It is the first time he could actually celebrate her birthday with her, and not knowing how it had been in the past he was going to make sure that she enjoyed every minute of it this year.
He took her out to dinner at a small resturant by the name of IL PORTO in Alexandria. When they sat down Amanda noticed a small vase with a single red rose along with baby's breath on her side of the table, with a note attached. 'To the most beautiful woman in the world. I love you, Lee.'
Amanda blushed and tilted her head up just a little, still able to see the look in Lee's eyes. They ordered their food and after a little while of small talk their dinner arrived. They both had a Caesar salads, shared Chicken Fettuccini and drank their Chardonnay.
They drove to Lee's apartment, to enjoy some private time together. They held hands and Amanda rested her head on his shoulder. Every once in a while she would pick up his hand, giving it a kiss. Lee was enjoying himself as well, and occasionally he would turn his head to give Amanda a soft kiss on the head. They both were enjoying their night together.
Amanda thought about how lucky she was to have a wonderful man like Lee in her life. Amanda knew he had a very romantic side to him and today he had proved it. Throughout her day Lee had given her six roses and now she sat in the car holding two of those six.
Lee on the other hand was thinking about how his plan was working. He was glad that work was light, giving them both the chance to leave the office early. Not only that, but he was relieved that Billy hadn't given them another assignment. He knew that if he had, tonight wouldn't have happened.
When they walked into Lee's apartment, Amanda found another surprise from her husband. She turned and gave him a hug and a kiss on the lips. "Lee, I can't believe this. You are so sweet."
There, sitting on his coffee table was a vase with six roses in it, with a small card sitting up against the side of the vase. This one read, 'The other six are lonely. I hope these will make them feel complete, just like you have made me feel.' As Amanda sat on the couch reading the words her husband had written, Lee looked on, watching her statement, especially when she realized there was a package sitting behind the vase. She gazed up at him giving a somewhat puzzled look.
"Go ahead Amanda, open it." Lee was smiling at the love and confusion in his wife's eyes. He walked over to the couch and sat next to her as she grabbed the package off the table.
She careful undid the wrapping only to find a velvet rectangle box. She careful opened it up finding a gold bracelet. Lee put his hand over hers and told her to turn it over. He had had it engraved, it said; 'To my wife, I love you more everyday. Love, L'.
Amanda had tears in her eyes and was speechless. At that moment Lee knew he had succeeded in making this day special for the woman he loved. She wrapped her arms around the wonderful man in her life. After a while she noticed Lee was doing something, he had taken the bracelet from her hand and was holding out her left arm. He put the bracelet on her arm, closed the clasp and brought her hand to his lips.
They laid back together on the couch with their arms wrapped around each other. Soon sleep over took them and they drifted off dreaming of each other.
Friday 30th, late afternoon Q- Bureau
"Amanda, I can't believe it Friday afternoon and we have nothing to do. Maybe we could cutout of here early and go over to the apartment for a little preview of this weekend," Lee said grinning.
"Oh, Lee." Amanda rose from her chair, walked over to Lee's desk and sat on the corner of it. "You don't NEED a preview, one more day and I'm yours. Why don't you and I leave here and go surprise the boys. We could pick them up from school and take them out for pizza. I'm hungry since we skipped lunch."
"That sounds like a good idea, let's go."
Lee got up and gave Amanda a passionate kiss that left them both breathless. Amanda turned around and walked to her desk to retrieve her purse. Before she opened the drawer to her desk, the phone rang on Lee's desk. He looked up into his wife's eyes and gave her a apologetic half smile. "Amanda I really don't want to answer this."
"I know you don't Lee, neither do I, but it could be important. Also we really are supposed to be still here working, not cutting out early."
On the fourth ring Lee let out a big sigh and picked up the phone. "Stetson......alright we're on our way." Lee hung the phone up, but couldn't look over at his wife. "I knew it, why do I even suggest leaving early, we always get interrupted. I think next time I'm not going to say anything, and just grab your hand, drag you outside and not turn back around."
"Well why don't you come over here you can hold my hand for a moment while we make our way downstairs. Let's go see what Billy wants and get it over with," she said with less enthusiasm.
Billy was standing at the entrance to his door waiting for Lee and Amanda. When he saw them enter the bullpen he turned around and went to go sit behind his desk.
The couple walked into Billy's office and sat down in the chairs right in front of the large desk. Lee could tell the look on his supervisor's face that something was wrong.
"Lee," Billy addressed his best agent, knowing this news would surprise Lee, but hoped nothing would come out it and ruin the weekend he knew these two needed. "When Francine arrived back here after lunch today she mentioned that she ran into one of her old contacts." Billy paused to take a breath and a sip of coffee before continuing. "This contact told her he found out the Dayanand twins are out of jail and are in the States. It seen they have been here for a few weeks, but nothing has happened so I am not too worried. Lee, I wanted to make sure you're aware of this since you have a past with them."
"So this is nothing to worried about?" Amanda asked, still not feeling total comfortable knowing someone was out there. She knew about some of the cases Lee had worked on before she started at the Agency, the Dayanand twins was one of them.
"Amanda, don't worry about it. I'll have some agents posted at your house to keep an eye on things while you and Lee are out of town. Samir and Samrat have been in town for some time and haven't tried anything. Let us worry about this. You have a good time and I'll let you know the minute anything turns up."
Lee reached his hand over to Amanda's and squeezed it, trying to let her know that he shared her concern too, "Amanda, we still have tomorrow. How about we leave here and pay a visit to one of my 'family', they may know something."
Lee and Amanda took off out of the agency and into the DC traffic in Lee's car. "Where are we going?" Amanda asked while reaching out a couple of her fingers to stroke her husband's cheek.
He turned his head and reached for her hand and kissed her palm before returning his eyes back on the road. "I thought we could head over to the gas station Rhonda works at."
"Hi Lee," Rhonda said as she walked around the car to the driver's side, wiping her hands with a rag and stuffing it back into her coveralls. "I get the feeling I know why you are here."
"You do?" Lee was not surprised, "Well what can you tell me then."
"It is true, Samir and Samrat are in the DC area. I heard through the grapevine that Samir, the youngest of the two brothers', was seen at Rock Creek Park on Tuesday afternoon. But I have not heard if they are involved in anything illegal."
"Let me know if you hear anything." With that Lee climbed back into the driver's seat and eased the car back onto the road in front of them.
"What do we do now Lee."
"We, go back to the house and surprise the boys. If I remember right, someone said they were hungry."
The rest of the drive to the house was talk about the upcoming weekend and time together. Both hoped nothing would stand in the way of time alone.
"Mom, are you sure you want to have pizza for your birthday dinner?" Jamie said as he set down his backpack from school
"Yes Jamie, pizza sounds really good," she said. As she sat her purse on the counter, digging for her checkbook, as she prepared for the delivery boy.
"Well, since we're waiting for dinner to arrive, Phillip and Jamie, why don't you give your mother her present." Dotty added.
"I'll get it," Phillip jumped off the couch and ran up the stairs to his room
"Come over and sit on the couch mom."
Amanda sat on the couch with Jamie on her right and a space for Phillip on the left. Dotty sat in one of the chairs and Lee went behind the couch. He got on his knees and peered over Amanda's shoulder to see what is going on.
Hearing the noise of Phillip coming back downstairs caught Amanda's attention so she turned her head to look up at him, catching a glimpse of a smiling Lee behind her. "Peeking over my shoulder again, Stetson?"
Lee did not get a chance to respond, instead he watched Phillip sit down and hand his mother her present. "Open it mom, it's from Jamie and me. Grandma helped us find it. What she found was a book called Ten Percent of Life a spy/mystery book. Lee laughed knowing about Amanda and her spy books.
"Thank you boys," she gave them both a kiss on the head. Amanda then opened the present from Dotty and found a beautiful pale blue sweater. "Oh Mother, this is gorgeous." She got up and gave Dotty a hug. Just then the doorbell rang, signaling the arrival of the birthday pizza. and it was time to eat.
Lee walked into his apartment late Friday night after having spent the whole evening with Amanda and the boys and enjoying every minute of it. He slipped off his jacket and loosened his tie. Slightly exhausted Lee sat down at one end of his couch and stretched his long legs out towards the other end. Ten minutes later he fell into a deep sleep, dreaming of his wonderful family and the beautiful woman who gave him everything.
Saturday 31st, morning at Lee's
"Oh man, talk about sore, I can't believe I slept all night on this darn couch. I must had been tired" Lee thought as he rubbed his face with his hands, then stretched his left arm out over the back of the couch. His left hand banged hard on the answering machine. He looked over to see what he had hit, then noticed the flashing light on the machine.
What he heard made him shake his head and smile, it was Amanda's voice. "Hi Lee, I know you're on your way home. I just wanted to say goodnight again and I love you." He laid his left arm back across his body, closed his eyes and smiled at the thought of Amanda. Getting up could wait, for now.
"Mom, when's dad going to be here?" Jamie asked, trying to be patient.
"He said he would be here at 6:30, the movie doesn't start until 7:10, you'll have enough time. Do you have everything packed for the weekend?" Amanda mused. Her thoughts were more towards Lee, and she wondered where he was taking her for the weekend. He had been very insistent about keeping this a secret from her. Amanda smiled at the comment she remembered him saying, "No Amanda I am not telling you. Keeping secrets is part of our job."
Jamie's answer had brought her back from the small daydream of Lee. "Yes mom I have everything, mine and Phillip's bags are by the front door."
Jamie grabbed his book off the bookshelf and sat down on the couch, decided that reading was a good idea to pass the time. He was so excited, as he was finally seeing the movie Spaceballs. He did not want to go trick or treating, as he told Amanda that he is to old to do that. At the same time as he sat down Phillip opened his bedroom door, "Mom," he yelled. "Can you help me with my costume? This is hard to do."
"Just a minute sweetheart."
Amanda put the last few dishes in the dishwasher, closed it and started for the stairs. She stopped abruptly at the sight of her mother descending from the stairs. "Oh my gosh!" She said, just above a whisper.
Dotty put her hand up before Amanda was able to say anything else, "I can't believe I let Kurt talk me into wearing this costume. I swear, next time that man loses a bet with his friends I will not agree to something like this," she said exasperated.
Amanda continued up to the boys' room, having almost forgotten that Phillip needed help. Seeing her mother dressed as Agent 99, from the old show "Get Smart" had caught her off guard.
About 10 minutes later there was a knock at the front door. Dotty went to answer it, knowing it could be one of three people. Kurt was due to arrive any minute, Joe was running a couple minutes late picking up Jamie and Lee was coming over to pick Amanda up. She couldn't understand why someone had to leave on Halloween night, to go out of town for a location shoot. She had learned that anything was possible.
When Dotty opened the door she found Lee standing there. When he saw Dotty, his jaw dropped open in shock. He couldn't believe his mother-in-law was dressed as a spy. "Good evening, Lee." She said, not knowing how to take his statement.
"Ummm....good evening...Dotty." Lee stammered. "I like your Halloween costume, you make a good spy."
The both stood there laughing at each other. "Oh, I'm sorry Lee, do come in. Amanda should be downstairs any minute, she is helping Phillip with his costume. Joe should be here anytime to pick up Jamie, and I am going to a party with Kurt. I can't believe you and Amanda are going a location tonight, she never told me where it is, do you know? Everything is a little crazy here, along with the kids coming by trick and treating." Lee took off his coat as they stood there in the entryway.
Lee just smiled that handsome smile at Dotty and thought, 'The women in this family sure can can ramble on and on.' "Dotty, when we leave the house I'll make sure there is a note for you with name and phone number of where we will be."
"Okay, thanks, Lee, I really do feel better knowing were she is.......oh excuse me," Dotty said as the doorbell rang.
Joe King walked into the house at the same time as Amanda came walking down the stairs. She had heard the doorbell ring and so she and Phillip came down. "Hi sweetheart," she said giving Joe a kiss on the cheek.
"Hi Amanda. Hey Phillip, I like your costume. You make a good scarecrow. Are you sure you don't want Jamie and I to drop you off on our way out?"
"No, dad, I will be okay."
Unbeknownst to Amanda, Lee was standing off to the side. He had grimaced when he had seen the greeting his wife had given Joe. It always bugged him to see their greetings and departures. He knew that Amanda and Joe were still good friends, but still he was uncomfortable watching them and in time he would perhaps get used to it, maybe.
As everyone walked towards the kitchen Amanda finally noticed that Lee was there. "Lee, I didn't know you were here," she said while giving him a brief hug. She knew he wanted more, but he knew why he had that kind of greeting. With all the family around they were still being careful of their affections.
Joe felt uncomfortable, not because of this was once his home, but because Lee Stetson is here, in this house. He was shocked almost two years ago when he came back from Estoccia. He expected the same Amanda as he left, but he found she had changed a lot. He thought that was the first time Lee had met Amanda. He found out nine months later when Lee had been accused of trading secrets with the KGB that Amanda had been working for the agency for 3 years.
Joe was unsure about her being an agent, he was afraid that something bad might happen to the boy's. He knew she loved doing her job. Still, the danger scared him.
Amanda bought him back to the present, "Joe, all the boys' things are together. You'll be picking Phillip up from the party?"
"Yes I will. What time?"
"The party gets over at 10:30. You remember where Linda Montez lives, don't you? If not Jamie can help you."
"Well, Jamie we better get going so we can make it to the movie theater in time."
"Okay dad." Jamie got up from the couch and put away his book. He walked into the kitchen and said his good-bye's to Lee and Dotty. "Have fun Jamie," Lee said.
"Be good," Dotty added
Amanda walked Jamie and Joe to the front door to say her good-bye's. "Jamie grab your things, Joe this is Phillip's stuff. Are you sure you both have everything?"
"Yes mom," they both said. Jamie was right next to Amanda and Phillip was on his way back up to his room, he had rubbed his face a little bit and Dotty was going to help him fix his make-up.
As the door opened Amanda put her hand on Joe's arm, "Thank you for taking the boys this weekend. Mother will have the phone number of where will are, if you need to get a hold of me."
Joe patted her hand and gave her a kiss on the cheek, "Don't worry, I can get the all the information from Dotty if I need it. I hope you have fun and I'll see you on Wednesday." He sighed with a painful regret, knowing things did not happen the way he had planned. That jealousy part was there again and Joe knew he needed to do something about it. It didn't make sense either. He was married to a woman he loved very much, Carrie meant the world to him. 'So this jealousy thing is just crazy,' he thought.
As Amanda closed the front door she turned to came face to face with her smiling husband. She knew that her mother and Phillip were up in Phillip's room. So she slid her arms up his chest, with a mischievous grin, and gave him a knee-knocking, earth-shattering kiss.
"Now that is a better greeting!" Lee said breathless. He started nibbling on her neck, as he did not want to break contact, but Amanda pulled back reminding him that now was not the time to start something they couldn't continue.
Their contact was finally broken when Phillip came walking to the front door. "Mom, I think I am ready to leave. I have no idea why I let Linda talk me into this, this scarecrow costume really itches." Lee and Amanda stifled a laugh at the young man. People will do crazy things to impress someone.
" I better get going, I am suppose to meet Jimmy over at his house." Phillip added as he continued to scratch his legs. "Bye Grandma," he called over his shoulder.
"Bye Phillip, have fun." Dotty commented back.
Amanda pulled him into a hug, "Goodbye sweetheart, you have a good time and I'll see you on Wednesday night. You mind your dad, okay."
"I will, bye, Mom and Lee."
"Bye Chief." Lee added as they watched Phillip walk down the path to the sidewalk and past some kids and parents as they were out trick-or-treating. Amanda stood there for a bit longer as she remembered how quickly the boys have grown up. It seems like only yesterday that she had been out on the streets, guiding them through the process of trick-or-treating.
By 7:30pm that night everyone else had left the house which left Lee and Amanda alone, until the time came for them to leave for the airport. Normally Lee would have whisked Amanda earlier in the day, but this time he had planned to arrive at the hotel late, just in case something had come up.
Lee led Amanda over to the couch, he was still laughing when they had sat down and Amanda knew why. When Kurt had shown up at the house, Lee had whispered in Amanda's ear, "My mother-in-law, a spy. She'd probably make a good one too." Amanda had given him a look and could not resist from joining him in his quiet laugher.
Lee finally gave in to Amanda's questions about where they were going. "Caesars Paradise Stream Resort in Pocono Mountains," she repeated in shock about her wonderful husband's plan. Lee nodded his head in agreement. He loved to surprise her and make her smile.
The whole evening had gone well, heck the whole week had gone by without any major incident. Lee mused as he sipped his wine Amanda had given him earlier. He wrote down the phone number of the hotel for Dotty and Amanda made sure she had everything for their time away.
As they were on their way out the door to leave, Amanda heard the phone ring. Sighing, she went back into the kitchen to answer the phone. Lee tried to protest her efforts, "Amanda, please don't answer it. I do not want anything to....." was all he got out before he heard her voice say "Hello".
Lee dropped the bags, with a loud thud, by the front door and started for the kitchen. He could hear the tone of her voice and knew that something was wrong. "Lee, it's Billy," she said handing the phone off to him and moving in front of the window by the sink. She stared out into the backyard while she listened to Lee on the phone.
"Scarecrow," Billy had a hint of worry in his voice.
"Yes." Lee stood there, not wanting to be on the phone.
"Rhonda called for you a few minutes ago. Mrs Marston told her you were gone, but she was very insistent so I accepted the call. Rhonda told me the Dayanand brothers have been doing some snooping around, about a certain 'cocky' agent that put them in jail over 10 years ago. They've been seen roaming around Arlington." Billy paused wishing he didn't have to continue this.
"Is that all?" Lee asked, hoping that it was. Amanda continued to stare out the kitchen window. She could only hear Lee's side of the conversation, but could sense that something was wrong.
"I wish it was, Lee, they are out for revenge and they know about your and Amanda's marriage. I know you two are leaving, but I wanted to make you aware of this."
"Thank you for letting us know." Then Lee returned the phone back onto its cradle. He walked over to Amanda, slipped his arms around her waist and rested his chin on her shoulder.
"What is it Lee?"
"It is nothing."
"Come on Lee," Amanda turned in his arms and faced her husband. "You can't fool me. I can tell by the tone of your voice and by the look in your eyes."
He took a deep breath, "Billy said that Rhonda called," he started, as he released her hand a sat down at the bar. "She had heard through the grapevine that Samir and Samrat want revenge on me and that they've somehow found out about our marriage."
Amanda bolted over to the phone. She was beginning to get a nasty feeling. "I'm going to call the Montez house and make sure everything is alright." Amanda always worried about things happening to her family in the past, but now hearing this newest development she just wanted to make sure that her sons were safe.
Susan Montez finally picked up the phone on the third ring. "Hello," she answered.
"Susan, hi it's Amanda. How is everything going? Can I talk to Phillip?"
An exasperated Susan says, "Everything's going fine. Let me find Phillip, I'll be right back."
Amanda sat there at the counter waiting for Susan. Panic began to creep up on her as she waited, which seemed like an eternity. Just as she was beginnig to wonder what is taking her so long, Susan came back onto the phone. "Amanda I can't find him. I will go back outside to look and then have him call you back, alright?"
Amanda didn't want to wait. She wanted to head over and see what was going on. She was already at the door, opening it and putting her coat on without saying one word to Lee. When he had reached the door she was half way down the walk. 'Why did she stop?' He thought. Then he noticed Joe coming towards her. When Joe got to Amanda she just looked at him. He couldn't tell what was wrong except for she showed no emotion on her face. She turned slightly continued past him and walked over to Lee's Corvette then climbed into the passenger seat.
Lee closed the front door and headed for the car, hoping that he wouldn't be stopped by Joe. Still it happened. "Lee, what is going on?" He was asked.
"Nothing Joe. I thought you were at the movies?" He said.
"We were, but it was sold out. We are going to the next showing, I just came over to pick up Jamie's camera, he forgot it." Joe looked back over at Amanda, then to Lee, "So, what is going on?"
"It's nothing, " Lee didn't want to tell Joe what was really going on. "If you will excuse me I need to take Amanda somewhere." He then continued his journey to the car. Leaving a confused Joe standing by the door. He could sense something was wrong, especially since Amanda was not acting like her noraml self, so he decided to follow them.
As soon as Lee had stopped the car Amanda jumped out of it and ran up to the front door. Joe noticed that they arrived at a two-story pale blue house. The house didn't seem familiar to Joe, until he noticed the blonde haired lady come outside. "Oh Amanda," Susan Montez started. "We still can't find Phillip. Linda said she walked from the garage to the house and thought she saw two shadows, but that is it." Susan was almost in tears at this time, she felt so responsible for what had happened.
By this time Lee and Joe had joined the two lady's. Lee whispered into Amanda's ear, "I'm going to call Billy, I get the feeling Samir and Samrat are behind this. I'm so sorry that this happened, Amanda." He gave her a weak smile and walked to his car to make his phone call.
Billy, Francine and Agent Thompson showed up not to long after Lee's phone call.
Amanda still had not said a word and that scared Lee. 'Family is so important to her. The boys mean so much to me, I love them and I will do anything in power to protect them. Oh Amanda, I'm sorry,' he mused. He stood at the entrance into the kitchen just staring at his wife.
Susan Montez was trying her best to help, she kept her daughter's party going and reassured all the kids that everything is okay. They had almost called the party off, due to the circumstance. But, Billy had told them 'just as long as they keep everything and everyone in the garage', which is where they party is all set up at, everything would be fine. Susan agreed, thinking the whole time that these people in her house were the police.
So now the only people in the house were Billy and Lee in the kitchen, Amanda on the couch and Joe pacing the floor in the living room. Francine and Thompson were searching the backyard for any clues and asking the kids if they know anything.
Joe had been pacing back and forth since they walked into the house. Every trip he made his anger grew. Finally he couldn't handle it anymore, he needed to release the energy somehow. He saw Lee going over to the couch to sit with Amanda, but Joe stopped him before he could reach her. "IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT, STETSON!" He started with his teeth clenched together. "I knew this day would come sometime. You have put Amanda in danger so many times, I know I have no control over what she does, BUT now you have put my sons in danger. I think they would all be better off if you were not a part of their lives."
Amanda never looked up, her head was in her hands the whole time.
Lee was getting pissed off at Joe. He had been keeping his temper in tact, but right now Joe was really pushing it. Lee wanted to be there for Amanda and he knew getting into a argument would not help her one bit. He tried to go around Joe to comfort his wife.
Joe grabbed his arm, making Lee turn around, "Why don't you go back into the kitchen to talk to Mr. Melrose and find Phillip. You have no idea what it's like being a father, worrying about them all the time. I may have not been here for them like I should have, but you will never understand what it's like. So go in there, get my son back NOW and then stay out of our lives."
"Let go of my arm and don't tell me what to do, Joe." Lee jerked his arm away from Joe.
"This is not your family, Lee. Their lives were just fine before you came along."
"How do you know what their lives were like? You were always gone." Lee retorted. Amanda raised these boys on her own and she did a damn good job. I think you need to give her more of a chance. Besides she's a damn good agent and she knows how to protect her sons. I know she doesn't want anything to happen to them and neither do I."
"Oh please, Lee, all you ever cared about was you. Whatever this between you and Amanda won't last. Look at your track record. You have always had women coming and going."
Lee moved a little closer so he was right in Joe's face. "That is all ancient history Joe."
Amanda had enough of Joe after that these outbursts, he had been lashing out at Lee for to long. Yes, these women are a part of his past, but that does not give him the right to act like a jerk.
"Joe, stop it," Amanda suddenly yelled. "Lee is as concerned about the boys safety, just as you are." She got up from the couch and grabbed Lee's left hand in her right one. "There is no excuse for you acting like this towards Lee. I think you need to go outside and cool off before I have you removed out of this house. In fact, I’d like you to remember that this is not my house. We are guests here. Meanwhile, I would like to sit down with my husband and see if they have any information on Phillip!"
Joe stopped dead in his tracks, not to sure if he had heard her correctly, "Your husband?"
Amanda did not realize her mistake at first until Joe made that comment. She looked up into Lee's eyes and he gave her a nod, "Yes Joe, my husband. We were married last Februrary."
"Februrary, I can't believe you! Why? Where? Wait, I don't want to know right now. I can not believe that you, Amanda King would do this!
"Joe," Lee tried to interrupt him.
"Stetson don't start," he warned, pointing a finger at Lee.
"Alright Joe," Amanda, having calmed down, got in between the two men. "I really do think you need to go outside and cool off. You two fighting is not going to help get Phillip back."
Joe let out a big sigh and left the room to head outside. As he reached the door he looked back over to Lee and Amanda, a sign of regret written all over his face. Joe had known that Lee would be around, but he hadn't thought it would be permanent. Yes, he has Carrie, but Amanda would always be his first true love. Joe hung his head and closed the door behind him.
Pacing back and forth, back and forth. That is all Lee could do for the next five minutes. He couldn't believe what had just transpired. They had never discussed telling Joe. "Then on the other hand, I guess telling him can't hurt. I really doubt he will say anything to anyone. So everything will be okay." He mumbled under his breath.
Finally, he stopped his pacing and looked at Amanda. He realized that she had not moved one inch since Joe left. "Amanda, do you realize what you just said?"
She was facing the front door with a blank look on her face. Lee put his hands on her shoulders trying to get her attention, "Amanda? Amanda, are you even listening to me?"
Amanda shakes her head slightly, feeling total guilty. "Lee, I am sorry, what were you saying? Oh, about Joe. I am so sorry that came out. I really didn't plan on telling him."
He engulfed her into his strong hands, wishing that a hug could take have taken away everything. "I know you didn't intend to tell Joe. Things will be okay, trust me," Lee's face was now nestled in the crook of her neck, rubbing one of his hands up and down her back.
Billy came out of the kitchen and hestitantly began walking towards Lee and Amanda. He had heard a little of the scene earlier with Joe and could tell now that Lee was trying to comfort Amanda. He knew he had to talk to them, as about five minutes ago he had received a phone call from the hospital. A doctor had recognized Phillip from a past event, knew that Amanda works for the Agency. Billy had been contacted after getting no response from the Maplewood Avenue home. Billy knew that this information would make them worry, still the outcome was good and Phillip will be back with them.
He relayed the information that the kidnappers and Phillip had been involved in a car accident, just shortly after leaving the house. Billy was not able to tell them Phillip's condition, all he knew was he is okay and that he was at Arlington Hospital. "Thank you, Billy," Amanda said after hearing about her son. She turned to Lee. "Let's go."
Opening the front door to leave for the hospital, Lee and Amanda found Joe sitting on the front steps of the house. He looked up to see who had come out the door, Amanda knelt down and told Joe about Phillip and the car accident.
"Amanda, Lee," Joe rose up, still unsure of himself. "I want to apologize for what happened. I know I shouldn't have taken this out on you Lee." He put his right hand on his ex-wife's left arm, "Amanda, I really am glad you and Lee found each other. Just take good care of her, Lee, she is one of a kind." He looked the agent in the eye.
"Trust me Joe, I plan on it," Lee replied, turning his head towards Amanda. He gave her a warm smile and wrapped his arm around her, resting his hand on the small of her back.
"Joe, I am sorry I didn't tell you about Lee and....."
"Hey Amanda, don't worry about it. I get the feeling you two had your reasons, we can discuss that at another time. You go to Phillip, I will be there in a few minutes. I want to call Carrie and Jamie, let them know what is going on. Also to apologize to Jamie for missing the movie tonight."
The drive to the hospital was quiet, Amanda sat there and thought about everything that had happened that evening. She knew this was a night she wanted to forget. She was happy to hear Joe apologize and hoped that things between him and Lee will get better. Still was worried about Phillip and kept that to herself, but Lee knew, he always could tell when things bugged her.
Lee and Amanda arrived at the hospital with Billy and Francine arriving behind them. Amanda checked with the front desk to find out which was Phillip's room, and Billy inquired as to which rooms held his prisoners. Lee had overhead the conversation and started down the corridor, leaving everyone else standing at the receptionist's desk.
Billy took off after him, "Stetson, where are you going?" He demanded, trying to catch up to him. Lee would not stop, that is until Billy took a hold of his arm. "Lee, where do you think you are going?"
Lee would not look at his boss, and friend, his eyes were set on the double doors in front of him that lead into the kidnappers room. "I think I am going to have a little talk with Samir and Samrat."
"Oh no you don't, Lee," Billy could tell by his rigid form and clouded eyes, that sending him into that room was not a good idea. "You can talk to them later, when you have calmed down. For now why don't you go be with Amanda, see how Phillip is doing."
Lee still did not move for a minute. Then he finally looked at Billy, then down the hall from where he had just come from. He could still see Amanda standing there looking at him. By then Joe had shown up and was standing next to her, along with Francine. He could tell by the look in her eyes and her facial statement, that she needed him with her. He sighed, "You're right, I'll be with my wife if you need me."
He turned around and headed back to Amanda, and passing Francine who was headed for Billy. Once at his wife's side he gave her a brief hug. Billy could not hear him say anything to her, but guessed that it was something good when he saw the smile on Amanda's face. The small group went to find Phillip and Billy just stood there watching them. He saw Lee wrap his arm around Amanda's shoulder and said to himself, "Everything will be ok."
“I beg your pardon, Billy?” Francine asked, unable to hear his words.
He shook his head and smiled at the blond woman. “Oh nothing, just nothing, Francine. Come on, we’ve still got work to do, you know.” Billy and Francine continued their journey in the opposite direction
Amanda, Lee and Joe quietly entered Phillip's room. They still had no idea as to the extent of his injuries, but had been told by a nurse that he was in no danger, just a few minor injuries and the doctor will be in shortly.
"Mom, Dad, Lee, hi. " Phillip tried to sit up.
"Hi Phillip," Lee and Joe said back.
Amanda went to sit on the side of the bed to help her son, "Oh, sweetheart I was so worried, are you okay?"
Lee and Joe were standing on opposite sides of the bed, not knowing what to say. Just then the doctor came in and introduced himself, "Hi, I am Doctor Kelley. Well, Phillip, you're looking a lot better."
"I'm feeling a little better than earlier, my hand still really hurts."
"Doctor," Joe said. "What's wrong with his hand?"
"Well he has a fractured wrist and a little bruising across his lower abdomen, from his seatbelt. X-rays look great, but we do need a cast on his arm. Then after that he can be released. He needs to take it easy for a while so his body can heal, then in a few weeks the cast can come off."
Amanda did not rise from the side of the bed, but she extended her hand out to the doctor. "Thank you." The fear and anxiety finally left her body. Her son was okay and the kidnappers had been arrested.
The doctor nodded, smiled and left the room.
Amanda looked up to Lee and he leaned in and whispered in her ear, "I will be right back, I'm going to go talk to Billy." She nodded in acknowledgement and he left.
Joe stayed in the room with Amanda and Phillip. He told them that he wanted to stick around and take Phillip home with him like it had been orginally planned. "Don't worry about him Amanda, I will make sure he takes it easy. That way you and Lee still go for your weekend."
"Oh my gosh Joe, I forgot all about that. Excuse me both of you, Phillip I will be right back. I need to speak to Lee." Amanda hurried up and left out the door in search of her husband.
Amanda walked up to the nurse's station to find out where Lee had gone. After she was told,she headed down the corridor, only to find out standing a few feet from a doorway, talking to Billy. She could tell that Lee was not angry, actually he had a big smile on his face. 'I wonder what they are talking about,' she thought. Billy disappeared back through the door before Amanda got there, but Lee stayed where he was, still grinning broadly. "So what is making you smile like that, or should I be scared?" she teased.
"Well, since tonight did not go as planned. Billy made a few phone calls. We get an extra day off and the hotel is saving our room for us to arrive tomorrow. So Mrs. Stetson, when Phillip is all done and we finally leave here, I get you all to myself until Thursday night." Lee raised an eyebrow up and down, Amanda just laughed at him.
"And just what do you plan on doing with me for all those days?"
"Oh trust me my dear, I could think of a lot of things. Like...."
"Whoa Lee, let's get Phillip out of here first. Then later we can discuss this." Amanda grabbed at his jacket to pull him back to Phillips room. Lee just shook his head and sighed, 'Man she's great, a tease, but great'.
Sunday November 1st- Mount Pocono, PA
Sunday late afternoon found Lee and Amanda sitting in front a warm fireplace, glasses of champagne in their hands and soft music in the background.
"Oh Lee, I can't believe this. We are actually away, no family, no bad guys just us. And this room, you are going to spoil me."
"This little room?" He said with a smirk.
"Little? Oh come on, what did the receptionist say the name of this room was? The Garden of Eden Apple Room? Lee, this place is big." Amanda was still amazed at what Lee had done for her. This room has so many amenities he just wanted to pamper her. Who could say no to a room all done up in rich tones of burgundy and cream, a heart-shaped whirlpool bath, beautiful view and so many outside activities.
"Thank you for doing this, Lee," as Amanda raised her glass to him.
"You are most welcome. I love you, Amanda Stetson." They clinked their glasses together and took another drink.
"I love you, too," Amanda whispered. She leaned in and gave him a kiss, but with him, one was never good enough as they continued showing each other just how much in love they really were with the other.